Hello! My name is Beka Beriashvili, I’m from Georgia and from 05.08.2018 until 01.04.2019 (8 months) I lived and worked as a volunteer in Latvia, town of Balvi. My main workplace was Balvi Children and Youth Center, besides that depending on the needs of the project I also worked in Vilaka municipality, primarily at Vilaka School and several other places in the municipality.
My EVS project was about non-formal education, so as a volunteer my main tasks were to organize and execute different kinds of activities for the youth, the activities that would’ve been funny, interesting and informative for them, all connected to the main idea of non-formal education. Of course my responsibilities also included helping my co-workers to execute their own ideas and planned activities.
I started with outdoor activities, weather in August was fantastic and more or less it remained like that until mid-October. I organized football tournaments for the local youth, that helped me to get to know them better and to kinda “introduce” myself to the local community as a whole. Meanwhile our center also organized and carried out many fascinating events, activities and parties for locals. In October weather got worse, so my activities moved indoors. I’ve created several Kahoot questionnaires about sports and modern-day events and administered them at BBJC to local teens. With my co-workers help I’ve hosted several “Georgian days” during my EVS, mostly at BBJC but also outside the main workplace, Vilaka school and various local Youth Centers. On these national days I cooked some traditional dishes from our cusine, made presentations about Georgia, gave the local youth all kinds of information about my country, mostly touristic but also some history and alphabet (Yeah, people like our alphabet and they always asked me to write something, it was great :D ). On national days we always had a lot of fun. In parallel regime I started to go to Vilaka school on Mondays and with 1st graders and 7th graders assemble and program metal and plastic constructors of various type, size and shape. I think these activities were educational and productive for both - myself and the kids, you don’t get to see and assemble 500 EUR constructors everyday :). I remember only 1 day when we couldn’t assemble the vehicle in time, on any other day our work was a success.
Latvian kids are smart, talented and well-behaved (take note Georgia!) so I’m sure all of them have a bright future ahead. During my EVS occasionally I also had to do some digital stuff, creating diploma templates, banners and etc. To be honest it was nothing good, I don’t like what I’ve created but purely as a new experience doing them and learning something new with every try was really good, I wouldn’t have done it at home so thanks to my project for this opportunity.
Co-workers, the other volunteer and project coordinator now, I won’t get tired of writing how good they are, all of them. From my first day there it’s been “what can we do to make your life better” attitude towards me, they were very attentive and every time I asked something they always reacted immediately. On a personal level they are also great people, I’m very happy that I met them and know them personally now. I’m sure everyone who will go to Balvi as a volunteer under this project will have a great time, with the people who are part of it it’s guaranteed.
Lastly I would like to thank to everyone who made possible for me to be part of my project, to both organizations. A special thanks to my Latvian project coordinator and the people who work at BBJC. I’m also grateful to other people in Balvi and Vilaka municipalities with whom I had a professional relationship in my time there. It was a very special chapter of my life and will remain like that forever.